Clara Barton gloried in those undecorated board walls as if they had been palatial...It was a place for service, and that service was the joy and glory of her life.
—William E. Barton
For the last fifteen years of her life, Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, lived and operated the organization from her home in Glen Echo, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. The Clara Barton National Historic Site features this home that served three purposes--as her personal residence, as the headquarters for the American Red Cross, and also as a warehouse for diaster relief supplies. It was an unusual arrangement that mixed her home life and her professional life so tightly they could not be separated. The home reflects her total devotion to her mission.
The house was built in the style of a hotel and was quite large with 38 rooms. This unusual design allowed the building to serve many needs. Today visitors can see eleven rooms which have been restored to their 19th century appearance.